My association with Indian Book Critics is as old as the platform itself. I have been reading various kinds of books that IBC offers for review (and also for a fee, of course). I do like the variety. I do admire the constancy of a few authors who keep on producing works that somehow keep alive the classic culture by pouring out essential substance into the ‘required’ ones. Well, this year is not new because books are there as usual. However, I have picked up a very strange book right now – Into The Strange by Warren Smith, a book of ‘true stories’ based on people’s observations and experiences of unusual encounters with ghosts and other perplexing experiences. I am enjoying it. Though it’s difficult to believe, the stories are interesting enough to compel me to turn the pages… I liked it.
After this strange encounter, I will be reading Russian authors because they have, somehow, become cult figures. They have become cult because they have been referred to as cult because someone called them cult because some others did so… it is like a nuclear reaction which goes on incessantly because it started. I have to experience it myself and see how these authors come up in the light of first-hand reading. Though I did read a few short stories by Chekhov, I have to dive deeper into the world of Russian literature and I will surely keep the readers of IBC posted about the same.
After the Russians, I will be reading as many modern or rather contemporary novels as I can. I have been a critic of contemporary literature mostly because it represents no values (as far as we talk about contemporary romantic literature) and the ones that represent values are rather driven by strange propaganda and issues that seldom connect with contemporary society. I want to experience the why and how of the same. I will keep my readers updated about my experiences as well as with the reviews of the novels and books that I read.
I will also ensure that I read some of the contemporary poets this year. Poetry, as many claim, is on a decline. It is because poetry has simply ceased to be poetry and it has become everything else. I will try to get my hands on a few poetry collections that have made it to the top of the fame lists. I will also apprise my readers and the community of Indian Book Critics about my first-hand experience with contemporary poets.
I will also read Hindi literature this year. Hindi Literature has been rising and it is very good to witness. However, it is also strange that many publishers have forgotten to publish the classic ones – we cannot find poetry collections and novels by those who are no more. It is very alarming because modern literature is all good but we do need the benchmark pieces in circulation so that we can distinguish between different ages and modern readers can also have a taste of the wonderful literature of the bygone era.
And guys, what are you up to in this new calendar year? What will you be reading in 2022? Please share your reading lists or to-be-read titles in the comment if you can. Let’s begin 2022 with joy! All the best!
by Ashish for IBC